Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paris - my new love

Well, I'm back and can't wait to start planning my next trip to Paris.  I'll add some pictures later today. 

Where do I start?

Ahead of leaving for Paris, I had several people ask about the strikes in France.  And, when I was at O'hare, I had someone ask if I was going to Paris.  She told me that her car couldn't get into the airport because of a blockade.  She had to walk the last mile and a half to the airport.  I saw no evidence of the strikes.  Plenty of people were talking about it, but I didn't experience anything negative because of it.  It turns out that the biggest effect the strikes were having while I was there was the ability of the fuel trucks to get the fuel out of the refineries to the stations.  I didn't ride in one vehicle the whole time I was there that required fuel.  I walked & took the Metro, so therefore, I was not impacted at all.  You have to love the scare tactics of the media that we've all become accustomed. 

Anyway, that said, on to the trip!

When I landed, I managed to get myself from the airport to the Champs Elysee by myself via the Metro.  I had a couple of hours before I was meeting up with Tricia, but since I had my suitcase with me, I didn't do much.  I did grab some coffee and then lunch at a McDonald's and managed to order correctly in French and get exactly what I had asked for.  That certainly raised my confidence level!

Tricia and I met up and she took me down the street a bit to this gorgeous tea house that sells all sorts of beautiful (almost too pretty to eat) pastries and sweets.  She told me that this was a special treat for me and I wasn't going to get to order for myself.  She'd take care of it as a welcome, but she wanted me to see the  shop.  Well, let me tell you, she was right.

We then went to her English classes she was teaching and I got to participate with the students and see her in action.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jet Plane

When I was little, every time my dad went on a business trip, he'd sing that line from the song "I'm leavin' on a jet plane."  And, even now, as an adult, that song runs through my mind everytime I'm going to be flying. Ahh...memories!

So, I fly out today to Paris!  Hooray!  I'm so excited. I have no definite plans other than meeting up with Tricia tomorrow afternoon to get the keys to her place and attending a wedding on Saturday afternoon sometime.  When she comes home from work tomorrow, hopefully I'll be well rested to do whatever we do for the next few days. 

I'll try to post as I'm there, but don't know how easily I'll be able to get online (or how much time I'll have either).  But, I'll definitely do some journalling and take lots of pictures that I'll post when I get back!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Less than a week

This time next week, I'll be sitting at a cafe in Paris saying (slowly and stuttered), "je voudrais une cafe au late, s'il vous plait!"  I can't wait.  Although, I honestly should be brushing up on my French.  I don't want to be a stereo-typical American tourist who expects that everyone will speak English.  I'll work on that this week before I leave (and on the plane over the pond).

I get to stay with a friend and have my own personal guide to Paris.  She's lived there for several years, is fluent in French, and knows a lot of people/places.  I'm honestly most excited about getting to spend time with her and seeing her world.  I know that this will be better than any trip I would be doing alone.  Other than attending the wedding of a friend of hers, I have no definite plans for this trip.  So, with it being almost completely up-in-the-air, it should be truly relaxing and enjoyable for a vacation.  (I'll likely come back wishing I had stayed longer)

And something else I'm contemplating...expanding my blog.  I have future plans in the works that I think are going to be quite an adventure.  So, my blog name is appropriate.  My life journey will be an adventure. I'm still just thinking about it.  Sometimes in everyday life, things seem boring to me, but when I think back, I realize it's still pretty exciting and bit out of the ordinary for quite a few people.  So, I may be doing more posting and expanding topics away from just my travels.  So, come back (and to those just stopping by, welcome)!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Next Adventure

A year ago, when I was still in planning mode for India, I would have never thought I'd be needing to use my passport again less than 12 months later. But, I'm heading to Paris in less than a month. I have a friend who lives there and I'm going to visit her, explore Paris, and generally just enjoy some time away! So, I'll be blogging (either while I'm there or after I get back to post pictures) about my next wonderful adventure!
If anyone has any specific suggestions of places I shouldn't miss, please let me know. I'm unsure of what my actual schedule will be, but that's part of the fun. It's a completely detail-unplanned long weekend!